Used Car Safety Ratings - the full story

The 2017 Used Car Safety Ratings are a resource to help motorists buy a safe second-hand car based on analysis of real crashes.

The team at Monash University crunch the crash statistic data and turn this into an easy-to-understand one-star to five-star rating for the most popular used cars on the market. The best-performing cars are also given a ‘Safe Pick’ rating.

A Used Car Safety Ratings Safe Pick car not only provides you with good protection but also protects the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

A large number of the Safe Pick vehicles are available second-hand for under $15,000 and many for under $10,000, which is particularly important for young drivers buying a first vehicle.

TAC’s How Safe Is Your Car website will help you find the Used Car Safety Ratings or the new-car ANCAP rating for just about any vehicle.

Light cars

The results are very disappointing for the light car category. Only one car, the Honda City, received better than a ‘Marginal’ rating, with a massive 88 per cent of the cars rated getting a ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’ tag. This category is very popular among new drivers, but we think you’d be better off upsizing and looking in the small car range instead

Light cars

Light cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safer Pick

Volkswagen

Polo

02-10

Ford

Fiesta WP/WQ

04-08

Honda

City

09-13

Safer Pick

Daihatsu

Charade

93-00

Holden

Barina XC/Combo

01-12

Honda

Jazz GE/Fit

08-14

Honda

Jazz/Fit

02-08

Peugeot

206

99-07

Toyota

Yaris/Vitz

05-11

Daihatsu

Sirion/Storia

98-04

Ford

Festiva WD/WH/WF

94-01

Holden

Barina TK

05-11

Holden

Barina SB

95-00

Holden/Suzuki

Barina/Swift/Cultus

89-99

Hyundai

Getz/TB

02-11

Kia

Rio

00-05

Kia

Rio JB

05-11

Mazda

121 / Autozam Review

94-96

Mazda

121 Metro/Demio

97-02

Mazda

2/Demio

02-07

Mitsubishi

Colt

04-11

Suzuki

Swift

11-15

Suzuki

Swift

05-10

Toyota

Echo

99-05

Toyota

Starlet

96-99

Small cars

This segment certainly does better in the Used Car Safety Ratings than the light category, but having this many one and two-star cars is quite worrying. In part the smaller size and weight of these cars is a factor. However, the uncomfortable truth of poorer safety specification of small and light vehicles, with many safety features being optional or not available due to targeted vehicle costings, is also apparent.

Small cars

Small cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safer Pick

Ford

Focus LV

09-12

Audi

A3

04-13

Safer Pick

Holden

Cruze JG/JH

09-15

Peugeot

307

01-09

Subaru

Impreza

07-11

Volvo

S40/V40

97-04

BMW

1 Series E81/E82/E87/E88

04-13

Safer Pick

Honda

Civic

06-11

Hyundai

i30

12-15

Kia

Cerato TD

09-13

Toyota

Prius 2

03-09

Volkswagen

Golf/Bora

99-04

Volkswagen

Golf/Jetta

04-09

Ford

Focus LR

02-05

Holden

Viva JF

05-09

Honda

Civic

01-05

Hyundai

i30

07-12

Kia

Cerato LD

04-08

Mazda

3/Axela

03-09

Mazda

3/Axela

09-13

Peugeot

306

94-01

Subaru

Impreza

01-07

Suzuki

Liana

01-07

Toyota

Corolla

07-13

Volkswagen

Golf

95-98

Ford

Focus LS/LT

05-09

Ford/Mazda

Laser/323

99-03

Holden

Astra AH

04-09

Holden

Astra TR

96-98

Holden

Astra TS

98-06

Nissan

Tiida

06-13

Toyota

Corolla

02-07

Toyota

Corolla/Allex

98-01

Daewoo

Cielo

95-97

Daewoo

Lanos

97-03

Daewoo

Nubira

97-03

Daihatsu

Applause

89-99

Ford

Laser

95-97

Honda

Civic

96-00

Honda

Integra

93-01

Hyundai

Accent

00-06

Hyundai

Elantra

00-06

Hyundai

Excel/Accent

95-00

Hyundai

Lantra

96-00

Kia

Rio

00-05

Kia

Rio JB

05-11

Mazda

323/Familia/Lantis

95-98

Mitsubishi

Lancer/Mirage CE

96-03

Mitsubishi

Lancer CH

03-07

Nissan

Pulsar/Buebird Sylphy

00-05

Nissan

Pulsar/Vector/Sentra

96-99

Proton

Wira

95-96

Subaru

Impreza

93-00

Suzuki

Baleno/Cultus Crescent

95-02

Toyota

Paseo/Cynos

91-99

Toyota/Holden

Corolla/Nova

94-97

Subaru

Impreza/XV

12-15

Safer Pick

Toyota

Prius 3

09-15

Safer Pick

Volkswagen

New Beetle

01-11

Compact SUVs

While a couple of compact SUVs hit the ‘Excellent’ grade, both with a Safer Pick as well, the ratings unfortunately head south pretty quickly. Half of the vehicles in this category rate Poor or Very Poor. Like the light car category, you’d be better setting you sights higher to improve your choice.

Compact SUVs

Compact SUVs

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safer Pick

Daihatsu

Terios

97-05

Holden

Cruze

02-06

Holden/Suzuki

Drover/Sierra/Samurai/SJ410/SJ413

82-99

Hyundai

ix35

10-14

Safer Pick

Hyundai

Tucson

04-10

Kia

Sportage

98-03

Nissan

Dualis

07-13

Suzuki

Jimny

98-15

Suzuki

Vitara/Escudo

88-98

Volkswagen

Tiguan

08-15

Safer Pick

Medium cars

This segment gives one of the broadest choices of five-star rated vehicles in the study, a whopping ten of which are Safer Picks. It’s also one of those segments where depreciation hits hard, meaning that a lot of these cars are very reasonably priced as second-hand vehicles. An added bonus is that if you’re after something a bit more sporty there’s the Mazda RX8! While there are some bad performers at the bottom, these are pretty old bangers now.

Medium cars

Medium cars

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safer Pick

Audi

A4

01-08

Audi

A4/S4 B8/AllRoad/RS4

08-15

Safer Pick

Ford

Mondeo

07-15

Safer Pick

Lexus

IS350/IS250/IS F

05-13

Safer Pick

Mazda

RX-8

03-11

Safer Pick

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W204/C204

07-15

Safer Pick

Mercedes Benz

CLK C209

03-09

Safer Pick

BMW

3 Series E90/E91/E92/E93

05-13

Holden

Vectra ZC

03-05

Honda

Accord

03-07

Honda

Accord

08-13

Lexus

IS200/IS300

99-04

Mazda

6/Atenza

08/11

Safer Pick

Peugeot

407

04-11

Safer Pick

Volkswagen

Passat

98-06

Jaguar

X-Type

02-10

Safer Pick

Honda

Accord

99-02

Honda

Accord Euro

03-08

Toyota

Aurion

06-12

Honda

Prelude

97-02

Mazda

6/Atenza

02-07

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W202

95-00

Saab

9000

86-97

Saab

900/9-3

94-02

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

03-09

Toyota

Camry

06-11

Toyota

Celica

00-05

Audi

A4

95-01

BMW

3 Series E46

99-06

Ford

Mondeo

95-01

Mercedes Benz

C-Class W203

00-07

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

99-03

BMW

3 Series E36

92-98

Holden

Vectra

97-03

Honda

Accord

94-98

Mazda

626

98-02

Nissan

200SX/Silvia

94-02

Nissan

Bluebird

93-97

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback

94-98

Toyota

Camry

98-02

Toyota

Camry

02-06

Ford/Mazda

Telstar/626/MX6/Capella/Cronos

92-97

Holden/Toyota

Apollo JM/JP/Camry/Sceptor

93-97

Honda

Prelude

92-96

Hyundai

Sonata

89-97

Hyundai

Sonata

98-01

Mitsubishi

Galant

95-96

Toyota

Celica

94-99

Subaru

Liberty/Legacy/Outback/Exiga

09-14

Safer Pick

Toyota

Avalon

00-05

Daewoo

Leganza

97-02

Medium SUVs

It’s good to see a lot of Safer Picks in this ever-burgeoning segment, which again proves how far manufacturers have come in making vehicles safer for everyone. Perennial family favourites like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger put in a good showing here.

Medium SUVs

Medium SUVs

Model

Year

Driver Protection Rating

Safer Pick

Ford

Territory SX/SY

04-10

Mazda

CX-7

06-12

Safer Pick

Subaru

Tribeca

06-14

Toyota

Kluger/Highlander

07-13

Safer Pick

Ford

Territory SX/SY

04-10

Subaru

Forester

08-12

Hyundai

Santa Fe CM

06-12

Safer Pick

Jeep

Cherokee KJ

01-07

Jeep

Wrangler JK

07-14

Ford/Mazda

Escape/Tribute

06-12

Nissan

Pathfinder R51

05-13

Holden

Captiva CG

06-14

Honda

CR-V

02-06

Honda

CR-V

07-12

Hyundai

Santa Fe

00-06

Nissan

Pathfinder/Terrano/Regulus

95-05

Subaru

Forester

02-08

Suzuki

Grand Vitara/Escudo

05-08

Toyota

RAV4

06-12

Toyota

Kluger/Highlander

03-07

Holden/Isuzu

Jackaroo/Bighorn

92-97

Holden/Isuzu

Jackaroo/Bighorn

98-02

Holden

Frontera/MU

95-03

Honda

CR-V

97-01

Ford/Mazda

Escape/Tribute

01-06

Mitsubishi

Challenger

98-06

Nissan

X-Trail

01-07

Subaru

Forester

97-02

Suzuki

Grand Vitara

99-05

Toyota

RAV4

01-05

Jeep

Cherokee XJ

96-00

Mitsubishi

Pajero

92-99

Toyota

RAV4

94-00

Mitsubishi/Peugeot

Outlander/4007

06-12